Maile Bowen

Responsibility, of my blood

Is to return to the remembering

These words are new to my ancestors, when written on paper

They were actions

Communicated via the movements of body

Mouths calling out to the language of the gods

Spoken to the earth

Via feet

Crafted instruments, made from the trees

Listened tentative to our songs

Heard stories as lesson

Heard the personal in all teachings

Kuleana, kuleana,

What does this mean?

To be responsible for a land that is not your home

To be in reciprocity with a land that does not know your body

To long for something across vast seas

And sit in this place that birthed you,

Kuleana, kuleana,

May i return to the practices

Know that i am held even from across the seas

Pray for healing to this land and her peoples,

Recognise their languages when the wattle has come into full spring,

And the birds outside my window crave shade i try to create for them,

In a vast and intoxicating heat.

Maile Bowen is a writer, editor and mindful movement facilitator based in Walyalup. She emerged into the literary world at the tender age of 17 when she launched her feminist publication Accidental Discharge in collaboration with Gemma Mahoney which they ran for 5 years. Maile is a proud kanaka maoli (native hawaiian) woman and her work is strongly influenced by her relationship to place and to culture. She recently completed a bachelor in Community Development and Indigenious Studies and is interested in the intersection between her work in mindfulness, writing and Hawaiian teachings with community resilience. She runs workshops centred on rest as a resilient act combining rest based practices with journaling and somatic movement.